Robots, their effect on humans and their rights

     In this deliberation, we discussed the issues surrounding AI ethics that usually concern people the most—job displacement, AI singularity, humanity, and AI errors. More and more jobs are being replaced by robots, more so in automation, healthcare, and customer care. It’s interesting to weigh the benefits of having fully AI-controlled cars and the job loss and distrust that comes with a displacement like that. There is a large distrust for giving robots the keys to our cars, as the majority of people have not experienced this first-hand yet and have heard of a couple fatalities from those robots—that strangely outweigh the 33,244 yearly fatal car accidents by humans in the US.

     Possibly one of the most heavily debated issues within AI ethics, AI singularity is one of the first topics that came up after the discussion of job displacement as we, as humans, are naturally afraid to lose the dominance we have accumulated throughout our existence. The discussion is usually geared towards keeping our control, regardless of the potential sentience that AI might eventually gain.

     Our humanity towards robots affects human interaction, regardless of the presence of their sentience. Research has shown that our maltreatment of robots affects the way we treat other humans and decrease our ability to be empathetic. The concluding part of the discussion was pointing out the urgency of resolving the maltreatment of humans before we even get to addressing the maltreatment of robots. However, it is important to consider revolutionary changes such as AI dominance during when and decades before it happens, as it has the potential to negatively impact human interaction if we don’t place regulations and ethics codes on ever-evolving AI.


AI Ethics: Issues to consider

     In the 1950s, the fathers of AI, Marvin Minsky and John McCarthy described artificial intelligence as “any task performed by a program or a machine that, if a human carried out the same activity, we would say the human had to apply intelligence to accomplish the task.” AI systems will typically show some of the following behaviors that are associated with human intelligence: planning, learning, reasoning, problem solving, knowledge representation, perception, motion, and manipulation and, to a lesser extent, social intelligence and creativity. In today’s world we experience AI in places like search engines, recommendation systems, chatbots, and even more directly–robots. Scientific developments in AI, such as deep-learning techniques, have made it possible to design high-performance intelligent devices, with access to huge amounts of data and ever-increasing computing power. These new techniques have been rapidly deployed on a large scale in all areas of social life, in transport, education, culture and health.

Technological innovations can affect employment in two main ways:

• by directly displacing workers from tasks they were previously performing

• by increasing the demand for labor in industries or jobs that arise or develop due to technological progress.

A report from Dell and the Institute for the future estimates that 85% of the jobs of 2030 don’t even exist yet. : Is the loss of jobs worth the generation of potentially thousands of jobs? Should robots replace doctors? How do machines affect our behavior towards humans?  How do we stay in control of AI? Should they have rights? These are some of the questions to consider when dealing with AI singularity, stupidity, humanity, and job displacement.